(This blog originally posted on 1/28/2007)
In the 1990's Veternarian and Geneticist George Padgett wrote a book (Control of Canine Genetic Diseases) from which he is often quoted as saying that mutts are subject to more genetic diseases than purebred dogs.
What Padgett doesn't say in his book, though, is what the chances of a mutt getting any one of those genetic diseases is, compared to a purebred from a breed where the genetic disease exists.
Here is a study that provides us a partial answer to that question.
Fifty-nine breeds of dogs were affected with cataracts above the baseline prevalence of 1.61% seen in mixed-breed/hybrid dogs. The breeds with the highest cataract prevalence included: Smooth Fox Terrier (11.70%), Havanese (11.57%), Bichon Frise (11.45%), Boston Terrier (11.11%), Miniature Poodle (10.79%), Silky Terrier (10.29%) and Toy Poodle (10.21%).
11.7% compared to 1.6%. That's phenomenal.